The Top 5 Retro Appliances

Nowadays we're all about multitasking and using gadgets to make our lives more convenient (and enjoyable). We sometimes forget the awkward, clunky appliances of decades ago that cost a fortune in electricity to run. We've chosen the Top 5 Retro Appliances that have become smarter, less expensive and consume a lot less energy than they did decades ago.


1. The 1980’s Mobile Phone

The typical 1980's mobile phone had battery life of 30 minutes and took 10 hours to recharge. It now costs under €1 to charge one mobile phone for an entire year.

Did you know: The first ever commercial mobile phone was a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X that went on sale in 1983 with a whopping price tag of c. €3,500 (It was the iconic phone used by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) in the film Wall Street).

2. The 1970’s VHS Video Recorder

Feeding the convenience revolution was the video recorder. The first commercial model was the JVC's HR-3300 which cost c. €900 in 1977.
One of the biggest standby guzzlers of them all- they used the same amount of electricity in use as in standby.

3. The 1980’s PC

Considering we can now fit a tablet in our handbag that costs around €300 and weighs the same as an average book, the "PC" has come a long way. In 1981 the IBM PC was ‘slightly less expensive’ than Apple at $4,500. The average power consumption for a computer has reduced by 50% since the 1980’s.

4. The 1970’s fridge

The fridge has enjoyed the most significant advancements in energy saving over the years. In the past they consumed more electricity than any other household appliance. Today they consume half the electricity they did in the 1970’s.

5. The 1970's washing machine

The washing machine hasn't really changed shape or size over the years, but today's models are a lot more energy efficient than their 1970's equivalent. To achieve the same performance as a modern day washing machine at 40 degrees, a 1970’s washing machine would have to use a temperature of 90 degrees and used 4 times as much water.
(In 2008, the University of Leeds created a concept washing machine that uses only a cup of water and uses less than 2% of the water and energy otherwise used by a conventional machine. The concept is being developed as the Xeros Washing Machine- so watch this space..).

What's your favourite gadget of yesteryear?